How to make Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin is a kitchen staple during the Thanksgiving season. Fresh pumpkin puree, also known as baked pumpkin or roast pumpkin, is super easy to make and only uses 1 ingredient. Literally.

overhead of pumpkin puree in a food processor


Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Forget the canned stuff—our velvety-smooth, luscious pumpkin puree is a true labor of love that captures the essence of autumn in every spoonful.

It might take a little longer, but the flavor you get from homemade pumpkin puree is unparalleled.

What is Pumpkin Puree?

It is simple cooked pumpkin that is blended until it is smooth. It can then be used in sweet or savory recipes.

Most people either are or aren’t pumpkin people. Or at least they think. The truth is that pumpkin puree doesn’t actually taste like much at all.

In fact, until blended with spices and sugar, it is just a orange mush. So people aren’t actually “not pumpkin people”, they are usually not pumpkin spice people.

pumpkin puree with spices nearby

Pumpkin spices ranges depending on if the recipe calls for savory or sweet, but the most common added flavors are brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

If you purchase pumpkin pie filling (see below), it will already be seasoned and sweetened.

How to use this Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin spice season is upon us and with comes pumpkin everything- especially a million pumpkin puree recipes and of course famous pumpkin spice lattes.

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice bundt cake, pumpkin sugar cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin butter, quick breads, pumpkin waffles… it is pumpkin mania!

sliced pumpkin cream cheese pound cake

The one thing people don’t make too much, homemade puree.

Best pumpkin for making Pumpkin Puree

Making this easy recipe is super simple and only requires one whole ingredient: pumpkin. Which means that picking your pumpkin will be the most important part.

pie pumpkin with other squash

PRO TIP: There are three types of pumpkins: ornamental, pie (sugar) and carving.

The only ones that will achieve your desired pumpkin taste are known as “pie pumpkins”, sometimes “sugar pumpkins”. The other two are more for ornamental purposes and won’t have much flavor.

Pie pumpkins are about the size of a cantaloupe and are easily hacked open. Your grocery store will have them labeled, but they are also common at pumpkin patches and farmer’s markets.

However, those seeds will make a tasty snack, see my baking pumpkins seeds tutorial for a tasty treat.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut your fresh pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Bake it, halved side up, on a baking sheet for 45- 60 minutes or until the pumpkin meat is soft. This depends on the size of the pumpkin and thickness of the walls. Use parchment paper for easy clean up.
  3. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh.
  4. Blend in a food processor it until it’s smooth puree with a creamy texture, but still some body and volume. Alternately, use a potato masher or ricer.
  5. For a thicker puree, drain through a fine mesh sieve to get out excess water.
  6. Bake, cook or freeze.
how to roast a pumpkin for puree

Pumpkin puree can turn out different shades of orange, it just depends on the type of pumpkin. I’ve has some light, I’ve had some dark. Do not fret, it will all be delicious when you add it to your desired recipe.

How much will this Pumpkin Puree recipe make?

The amount yielded will also vary greatly depending on the size of your pie pumpkin, but the average will be about 2 cups (a little more than the average can).

The rule is 3 pound pumpkin yields 1 can of puree (15.4 ounces).

Pumpkin Pie Filling vs Puree

Puree is different than pumpkin pie filling. Filling is fresh puree laced with pumpkin pie spice. It still needs the addition of sugar and egg to achieve the right consistency.

To make filling, combine 2 cups of puree with a 12-ounce can of condensed milk, 2 eggs, 1 cup of brown or white sugar and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

how to make pumpkin pie filling

How to store Homemade Pumpkin Puree

How long does Pumpkin Puree last in the fridge?

Since this is homemade and doesn’t contain preservatives or additives, it will last in the fridge for about 3-5 days in an airtight container. At that point you’ll either need to bake or cook with it or freeze it.

Can you freeze Pumpkin Puree?

This works with canned or homemade pumpkin puree. Simply place it in an airtight plastic bag, remove as much air as possible and then freeze.

If you need small amounts on hand, freeze it in an ice cube tray and pop them out when frozen. Thaw however much you need in little cubes.

FAQs for making Pumpkin Puree

Homemade Pumpkin Puree vs Canned

Listen, there are pros and cons to everything, but there is one very important fact to know about canned pumpkin. It isn’t really pumpkin.
Mind blown, I know. Technically speaking, the FDA says that any type of squash or gourd can qualify so it is generally a blend of butternut, acorn and other more flavorful squashes with a little bit of actual pumpkin.
They add orange food dye for color and salt to preserve and sometimes even artificial flavors. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never used it- I still do to save time, but when I want real pumpkin, I make my own.

Is pumpkin puree just mashed pumpkin?

Yes, pumpkin puree is essentially roast, mashed pumpkin that has been processed into a smooth and creamy consistency.

Is it better to boil or roast pumpkin for puree?

While you can boil pumpkin, I believe that roasting gives the best, full flavors since it allows the natural sugars to caramelize.

Can you puree a pumpkin without a food processor?

You can also use a blender or even potato masher, but a potato masher might not give you the same smooth consistency.

long pin for pumpkin puree recipe

Favorite pumpkin recipes:

Recipes with Pumpkin Puree

overhead of pumpkin waffles

Pumpkin Waffles

Homemade waffles don't get much better than these Pumpkin Waffles! Full of fall flavor and perfect for breakfast or brunch! Homemade waffles don't get much better than these Pumpkin Waffles! Full of fall flavor and perfect for breakfast or brunch!
See The Recipe!
angled shot of slice of pumpkin pie

Easy Pumpkin Pie

This Easy Pumpkin Pie is just perfect for Thanksgiving! Perfectly creamy and delicious, this pumpkin pie recipe is perfection!
See The Recipe!
parfait of pumpkin pie in wine glass

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Parfaits

Pumpkin Pie Parfaits are an easy, no bake and make ahead dessert that everyone will love and you won't beleive what we use for the "crust"!
See The Recipe!
close up of pumpkin puree in a blender
overhead of pumpkin puree in a mini food porcessor

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

4.37 from 11 votes
Make your own pumpkin puree using one ingredient: pumpkin. Learn about the pie pumpkin and find pumpkin recipes to use your pumpkin puree.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 pie pumpkin


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Scrape out the seeds and pulp. Reserve seeds to make baked seeds.
  • Place the halves on a rimmed baking sheet. Sit halves meat side up (cut a small slice out on the bottom of each to allow them to sit evenly without rolling).
  • Cover each half with aluminum foil. Bake for 60 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is fork tender.
  • Scrape the pumpkin flesh from shell halves and puree in a food processor. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces or seeds. You might need to add just a little water to make it a "blendable" consistency. On the other hand, some are watery and need to be drained.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.


Calories: 176 kcal, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Protein: 6 g, Sodium: 6 mg, Potassium: 2312 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 18 g, Vitamin A: 57890 IU, Vitamin C: 61.2 mg, Calcium: 143 mg, Iron: 5.4 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 176
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade pumpkin puree
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.37 from 11 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Didn’t realize there were so many great uses for pumpkin puree! Definitely making some this weekend!

  2. Hi!
    I’ve been making pumpkin puree for about 5 years but mine always turns out much thinner than what I’m seeing in your pictures!
    I always get pie pumpkins, bake until tender, and puree! Any thoughts?
    Always love your content!

    1. Hi Jess,

      If mine was to turn out too thin, I would probably line a colander with cheesecloth and drain it a little or place it in the fridge uncovered to dry.If I don’t get to a thick, chunky consistency, then it doesn’t blend right for most pumpkin pie fillings and other recipes.

      It might also be the type of pumpkin you are using- are you using a “pie pumpkin” specifically?

      And thank you!
      Jessica (also 🙂 )